Peter Schutz is a highly regarded food industry advisor, chairman and director with an extraordinary portfolio of experience in food and agriculture in Australia.
Peter is the inaugural Chairman of the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre and Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), which is a national food and agribusiness hub that drives innovation and market initiatives for the industry.
Peter is looking forward to the challenge of building a resilient, cohesive and progressive food and agribusiness industry using skills he’s gained from a career in senior management roles in operations, sales, marketing, technical services and compliance, innovation and technology transfer, sustainability and environmental management.
His active involvement in developing food science and technology in Australia includes board and advisory roles with the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and CSIRO’s Food Futures Flagship.
Peter spent 10 years as the CEO of George Weston Technologies (George Weston Foods), where he was awarded the AIFST Food Industry Innovation Award in 2003 and the Keith Farrer Award of Merit in 2015.
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Dr MIRJANA PRICA
Mirjana is an experienced business and strategy leader in food and agribusiness, with a passion for connecting ideas and devising solutions to deliver maximum benefit.
She is currently Managing Director of Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), a national food and agribusiness hub that has brought together over 2000 stakeholders and 3000 organisations to drive innovation and market initiatives for Australia. In this role Mirjana was instrumental in delivering strategies and plans that assisted in the formation of the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre.
Mirjana has more than 20 years experience as an R&D project manager in food, agribusiness, and materials. A key role was in business development and technology transfer for George Weston Foods (GWF), part of the Associated British Foods Group. She helped establish a global feed ingredients business for the group and managed the GWF’s analytical testing business, servicing both internal and external food, agricultural and animal feed customers.
Mirjana is a business-science post-graduate from the University of Melbourne and has worked as a senior research scientist and lecturer at Keele University in the UK. She also spent part of her career as a scientist at Food Science Australia (CSIRO).
Dr MICHELE ALLAN
Michele is a food industry and agribusiness specialist who has held senior executive and director positions in the food and education sectors, and has an academic background in biomedical science, management and law.
She is the current Chair of the Board of Meat and Livestock Australia, Charles Sturt University, Apple and Pear Australia Limited and Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (formerly Go Grains Health & Nutrition). Her current board positions include Innovation Australia, CRC Advisory Committee, Hearing Cooperative Research Centre and Grains Growers Limited.
In 2013-14 she chaired the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce for the Federal Minister for Agriculture, The Hon Barnaby Joyce. She also chaired the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce appointed by the Federal Government.
Michele's prior non-executive director roles include Patties Foods Limited, the Dairy Research & Development Corporation (now part of Dairy Australia), CallaghanInnovation, Tasmanian Irrigation, William Angliss Institute, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, RuralCo Holdings, Birchip Cropping Group and the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation.
Michele holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Technology Sydney, a Master of Management (Technology) from the University of Melbourne, a Doctor of Business Administration from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Master of Commercial Law from Deakin University.
Jane Bennett is currently a non-executive director of the Australian Farm Institute, the CSIRO, Nuffield Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Tasmanian Ports Corporation and the Van Diemen's Land Company, Australia's largest dairy farming business. Jane is immediate past Chair of the Food Industry Advisory Council in Tasmania and has worked in the cheese industry in the UK and Australia for more than 20 years, including a decade as Managing Director of Ashgrove Cheese, a family owned business in Tasmania.
In 2010 Jane was the Tasmanian Telstra Business Woman of the Year and in 2011 won the Australian Institute of Company Directors Gold Medal (Tasmanian Division). In 1997 Jane was named the ABC Radio Australian Rural Woman of the Year.
She was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2008 to study the role of regionality in the marketing and branding of food, which involved four months of travel and research across North America, Asia and Europe.
Terry O’Brien is Chairman of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and has represented the food industry on the Federal Government’s Food Processors Industry Steering Group, the National Food Policy Working Group and the National Food Industry Strategy Group.
Terry has been Managing Director of Simplot Australia since 2001 and is a member of the global senior leadership team of its parent company, the US-based multinational food and agribusiness, the JR Simplot Company.
Prior to his appointment as MD of Simplot Australia, Terry was the company’s Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. He is a qualified accountant with a post graduate qualification in banking and finance and is a Fellow of both CPA Australia and the Institute of Company Directors.
Before joining Simplot he had two years with the Pacific Dunlop Food Division, nine years of financial and managerial experience with Cadbury Schweppes and nine years experience in the textile industry.
Geoff Starr has extensive business experience in the household, food, chemical, agribusiness and services industries, including six years as Chief Executive of George Weston Foods Limited (Associated British Foods Limited). He brings a wealth of international market experience, as CEO for Mars Inc. companies in Japan, Asia and Europe.
Since 2006 he has been a Director of Foodbank Australia as well as Chairman of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the Audit Committee. Foodbank Australia is the largest food relief organisation in Australia employing over 200 people and engaging more than 2000 volunteers, and since 2013, a director of Australian Pork Limited, a producer-owned organisation that represents the pork industry.
Geoff was appointed in 2013 by the Federal Government to the position of Food and Beverage Supply Advocate to the Department of Industry.
He is a former Chairman of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, representing the $108 billion non-retail food and grocery industry that employs 300,000 people. Geoff has also held the roles of Director and Chair of the Council’s Health, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs Committee.